A Deadly Habit is an unusual mystery as far as mysteries go. It is laugh-out-loud funny and features a feisty, willful heroine that will both test your patience and steal your heart.
Penelope Santuci — known to friends as Pen — is a probation officer. When her big shot laywer ex-husband is murdered, she becomes the first suspect. She would wait for the police to solve the mystery – if only they had brains! Refusing to put her fate on the officers' hands, she decides to take charge and prove her innocence herself. Of course, she has a handsome lawyer (she bullied him into taking her case, but what else is new?), but he wants to do things by the book and unfortunately, that's not Pen's style. However, Pen accepts when she needs help, so she recruits — against their will — a nun and a priest to help her. This leads to all types of funny situations. Will Pen find the true murderer and prove her innocence before she completely corrupts them, drives her lawyer crazy, and gets herself killed?
A Deadly Habit is one of the most humorous novels I've read in a long time – more so because it is a mystery. The protagonist's distinct, strong voice combines street smarts, naivete and stubborness and will easily find its way into readers' hearts. The story moves at a quick pace and is full of twists and turns. The dialogue is one of the best aspects of the novel, sharp and witty. This is the first book in the Penelope Santuci mystery series and Andrea Sisco's debut novel. I already look forward to the next book. This is one of those series that makes you wonder what the protagonist will be up to next.
For those of you who don't know it, the author, Andrea Sisco, is the co-founder/owner of the popular review site, Armchair Interviews. I had the chance of interviewing Andrea last year on the subject of book reviewing. You may read the interview here on Blogcritics.